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Maryland - Immature Coopers or Sharp-shinned?

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In local park in Maryland near DC this morning.  It was slightly larger than a crow (conveniently landed on a branch directly above a crow which immediately flew off in alarm).  I'm guessing Coopers given the sharp chest markings but hawks are always confusing to me so maybe its something else entirely.  I did not see it in flight (just as it landed) and it made no calls.




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Like @lonestranger said, start at the tail when identifying hawks. This tail length and pattern (gray with black stripes) is present in only three North American species, which are the members of Accipiter: Cooper's Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and Northern Goshawk.

Members of Buteo have tails that don't project as far and tend to be primarily black with white stripes, with most juveniles having white tails with light brown stripes. The adult Red-tailed Hawk is the exception with its bright red tail.

Individuals may exhibit significant variance, but this is a good starting point.

Edited by Zoroark
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